The Marvelous Land of Oz: Delightful sequel

The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Marvelous Land of Oz is the first of L. Frank Baum’s fourteen sequels to his much more famous novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Each of the sequels, which were published form 1904 to 1920, are illustrated by John R. Neill and are now in the public domain. My 11 year old daughter and I listened to a delightful audio version of The Marvelous Land of Oz which was read by Tara Sands. I purchased this version for free at Amazon and added Tara Sands’ wonderful narration for $2.99 with the Amazon/Audible Whispersync deal.

In The Marvelous Land of Oz, an orphan boy named Tip is being raised by an evil witch named Mombi. One day Tip tries to frighten Mombi by maki... Read More

The Phoenix and the Carpet: Nesbit was an innovative children’s writer

The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit

The Phoenix and the Carpet is Edith Nesbit’s sequel to Five Children and It, a collection of charming children’s stories published in 1902 which told how five siblings discovered a sand fairy which granted them a wish each day and how the children kept bungling what they wished for.

In The Phoenix and the Carpet, the children accidentally set fire to their nursery (while playing with fireworks!) and a new carpet must be brought in. This, unbeknownst to their parents, is an enchanted carpet which contains the egg of a rather arrogant but good-natured phoenix. When the phoenix hatches, it teaches the children how to use the magic carpet and off they go on a series of adventures which usually have unfortunate endings but occasionally produce happy side effects. The adventures are fun and exciting, occasionally hilarious, and sometimes scary.

T... Read More

Ayesha, the Return of She: Slighter than the first

Ayesha, the Return of She by H. Rider Haggard

Free Kindle version.

H. Rider Haggard returns to his story of star-crossed lovers Ayesha and Leo Vincey in Ayesha, the Return of She. The sequel was published in 1905, nearly twenty years after the publication of She. The world has changed, and Haggard’s storytelling has changed to match.

Haggard remains best known for King Solomon’s Mines, and She is the book of most interest to literary scholars. Ayesha, the Return of She is a decent sequel that does very little to open a window on the thoughts, values and fears of the late Victorian/early Edwardian era. Ayesha has more adventure and action, but characterization is di... Read More